DENVER (CBS4)– The Denver Police Department hosts several community academies throughout the year, but now there’s an academy specifically for women. The Denver Police Department believes in the importance of a diverse police force, but only 13% of its officers are women.
“Maybe women think they can’t do this job. ‘Oh, I’m not strong enough, I’m not fast enough, I don’t know if I could handle this.’ The reality is sometimes women handle this job a little better than men do,” said Denver Police Officer Sharon Avendano.
Like some of her female colleagues, Avendano joined Denver police because she wanted a better life for her family. Officers at the announcement for Women’s Community Academy Thursday want women interested in law enforcement to know that the department offers equal pay. Female police officers make the same salary as their male counterparts.
“We recognize that there’s this perception that law enforcement is a male-dominated field, and it is, but there’s a place for women in law enforcement. The women who make up DPD are some of the brightest, strongest, courageous, most hardworking women I know,” said Denver Police Deputy Chief Barb Archer.
The Women’s Community Academy will focus on women interested in law enforcement. In addition to reality-based training, topics will include skills events, arrest control, less lethal options, officer safety and complex investigations.
“We’ll talk about child abuse, sex assault, homicides, robberies, thefts, burglaries, a little bit of everything. We’ll talk about what this career brings and the opportunities it brings,” said Archer.
Reality-based training will give participants a sample of the physical work expected in the police academy. Women will step into the department’s immersive training environment known as the Virtra 300 Simulator. The simulator uses computer screens to create real-world scenarios that test decision-making and firearms skills under pressure.
“Women are exceptional in communication, de-escalation and physical presence. We’re looking for all of it,” said Technician Tyrone Campbell, Community Academy Coordinator.
Women interested in law enforcement must complete an application form and pass a background check to be considered for the Women’s Community Academy. Participants must be over 21 years of age. Women’s Community Academy will be hosted at the Denver Police Academy, 2155 North Akron Road, Oct. 5 and Oct. 6. Completion of both days is mandatory.